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Lock SafeSearch for accounts, devices & networks you manage

If you manage accounts, devices, or networks, SafeSearch can help you filter explicit content from Google search results. If you want to keep SafeSearch on and prevent users from changing the setting, you can lock SafeSearch.

Important: This article is intended for people who manage SafeSearch settings for others. To change SafeSearch settings for your personal account, follow the steps to filter or blur explicit results using SafeSearch.

What you can lock SafeSearch for

  • Accounts you manage as a parent, guardian, or school administrator
  • Devices you manage including Chromebooks, Windows, Mac, and Linux
  • Networks you manage at school, work, or home

Lock SafeSearch for devices you manage

If you supervise your child’s device with Family Link
If you’re a parent in the child’s Google Family Group, you can keep SafeSearch turned on for your child’s account. Learn more about Search and your child’s Google Account.
If you manage devices through Google Workspace for Education

If you’re a Google Workspace for Education administrator, learn how to control access to Google services by age.

If you manage a Chromebook
If you’re an admin who manages Chrome policies from the Google Admin console, you can set SafeSearch preferences at the device level. Learn how to set Chrome policies for users or browsers.
If you manage a Mac, Windows, or Linux device

If you want to lock SafeSearch on another device that you manage, like a PC or Macbook, you can map Google domains to forcesafesearch.google.com.

This option is recommended if you have a technical background.

Map google domains to forcesafesearch.google.com

This method leverages SafeSearch VIP to force all users on your network to use SafeSearch on Google Search while still allowing a secure connection via HTTPS. The VIP in SafeSearch VIP refers to a Virtual IP, which is an IP address that can be routed internally to multiple Google servers. We will serve SafeSearch results for all requests that we receive on this VIP, which includes:

  • Google Search
  • Image search
  • Video search

It works for all browsers on your device and users who are administrators on the device can undo this change. To make this change, follow these steps:

In Windows

Open your hosts file

  1. In Windows, click the Windows key.
  2. Enter Notepad.
  3. Right click Notepad and then Run as Administrator.
    • When the Windows asks whether you want to make changes, click Yes.
  4. In Notepad, open your hosts file.
    • In most Windows installations, this is located at: C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc\hosts

Save your hosts file

  1. To open “Command Prompt,” click the Start menu.
  2. Enter cmd.
  3. Press Enter.
  4. Enter the command ping forcesafesearch.google.com.
    • Note the IP address.
    • Example IP address: 216.239.38.120.
  5. Create an entry at the end of hosts file with the IP address that you obtained. For example: 216.239.38.120 www.google.com #forcesafesearch.
    • Copy this line for any other Google country or region domains that your users may use, like www.google.co.uk.
  6. Save the hosts file.

To confirm SafeSearch filtering is on, go to google.com/safesearch. Check that SafeSearch filtering is on by default and can't be turned off.

Tip: If Windows is installed in a different location on your PC, you can find the hosts file by entering the following command in Command Prompt: cd /d %systemroot%\system32\drivers\etc.

On MacOS
  1. Open Terminal.
  2. Enter the command ping forcesafesearch.google.com.
    • Note the IP address.
    • Example IP address: 216.239.38.120.
  3. Enter the command sudo nano /private/etc/hosts.
  4. Create an entry at the end of the hosts file with the IP address that you obtained. For example: 216.239.38.120 www.google.com #forcesafesearch.
    • Copy this line for any other Google country or region domains that your users may use, like www.google.co.uk.
  5. Save the hosts file.

To confirm SafeSearch filtering is on, go to google.com. Check that SafeSearch filtering is on by default and can't be turned off.

On Linux
  1. Open Terminal.
  2. Enter the command ping forcesafesearch.google.com.

    • Note the IP address.
    • Example IP address: 216.239.38.120.
  3. Enter the command sudo nano /etc/hosts.
  4. Create an entry at the end of the hosts file with the IP address that you obtained. For example: 216.239.38.120 www.google.com #forcesafesearch.
    • Copy this line for any other Google country or region domains that your users may use, like www.google.co.uk.
  5. Save the hosts file.

To confirm SafeSearch filtering is on, go to google.com. Check that SafeSearch filtering is on by default and can't be turned off.

Lock SafeSearch for a school, workplace, or home network

If you manage a school, workplace, or home network, you can force SafeSearch filtering on for all browsers and devices using your network. This applies the SafeSearch Virtual IP address to all Google domains that you include in the configuration and can't be undone at the browser level.

To force SafeSearch filtering on for your network:

  • You must update your DNS configuration.
  • Set the DNS entry for www.google.com (and any other Google country or region domains that your users may use) to be a CNAME for forcesafesearch.google.com.

Report explicit content

If you have SafeSearch turned on and you find explicit content, you can report the content.

Related resources

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